By: Bro. Sean Cass L. Alvarez
Baguio City – Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary held various activities in honor of the faithful departed last November 2, 2022.
Three Requiem Masses
Taking advantage of the privilege granted by Pope Benedict XV in 1915 which states that every priest can celebrate three requiem masses, the community of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary celebrated three consecutive masses which were attended by members of the seminary’s different organizations and some lay faithful.
The first mass was offered for a specific intention while the second for all the faithful departed, and the third for the intentions of the Holy Father as specified in the directions of the privilege.
Bro. Ken Manalo, a third-year college seminarian saw the importance of participating in the masses in honor of the souls in purgatory.
“In a way, this is our participation in the mission of the Church to save souls,” Bro. Manalo said.
“Even when I felt hungry during the three consecutive masses, it became an event for me to be able to offer sacrifice for the faithful departed. I believe that when the time comes when I will also need it, there will also be people praying for me,” he added.
Visit to Msgr. Leandro Nieto, OAR
In the afternoon, the formators, some members of Secular Augustinian Fraternity de Baguio, and seminarians walked to the Baguio City Public Cemetery to do their annual visit to the late Msgr. Leandro Nieto, OAR who was buried there.
Upon arriving, the community first had their rosary at the cemetery’s dome. After which, they proceeded to their visit to Msgr. Nieto, OAR wherein they offered a prayer and blessing for his grave.
Msgr. Nieto, OAR, a Spanish Recollect missionary, was ordained in Manila, Philippines in 1916. He had rendered his services in several places in the country, especially during and after World War II. In November 1938, he was even chosen as the Apostolic Prefect of Palawan. There he founded the Seminario de San Jose (San Jose Seminary), a diocesan seminary and a normal school in the capital of Palawan. After his resignation due to poor health in 1953, he spent his last years in the chilly atmosphere of Baguio City at Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary where he was called back home to the House of the Father on July 8, 1960.
An Engagement to New Apostolate
After the visit to Msgr., the seminarians of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary engaged in a new apostolate – the offering of prayers for the departed.
This is the first-time ever that the seminary holds this kind of apostolate, wherein seminarians roamed around the cemetery to ask people if they want to offer prayers for their faithful departed.
“This is the time where we, ourselves, are the ones who will go to the people and ask if they want our service of prayer,” said Fr. James Dexter Tanquis, OAR, the Master of the Postulants, as he gave the orientation about the apostolate. According to Fr. Dexter, most of the time, it is the faithful who asks for religious’ presence which is why this apostolate is an opportunity for the seminarians to experience how it is to be in this kind of mission as the Church’s future ministers.